120 pages and 102 photos in black and white.
For more photos, see for the nuns also: http://www.contrastfotografie.nl/html/foto-aj-binu.html and monks: http://www.contrastfotografie.nl/html/foto-aj-zoek.html
Armando started to make a reportage of a nunnery in Egmond aan den Hoef. Situated 40 km (25 miles) north-west of the capital Amsterdam – the Netherlands, along the North Sea coast.
The contact with the nuns was not easy. The nuns lived in a very isolated way, almost without any contact in the ´real world´. They choose to live cut off from the villagers. They live in their ‘Carmelite Nunnery’ with their own gated garden. Even their graveyard was inside the walls of their garden.
The reportage starts with prayer and includes all kinds of domestic activities, such as cleaning, washing, eating, and some relaxation when the nuns have one hour ´spare time´ a week. He was even allowed to make some photographs of the nuns in their own cella (private room). One time he was very surprised about the nuns - one of them had a computer and internet (it was 1995(!).
This reportage of the nunnery was the start of a second reportage of monastic life. A few years ago Armando made a reportage of a Benedictine monastery in Egmond-Binnen, the ’St. Adelbert Monastery’. Over a two year period, he made almost 1000 photographs of this community. The project was similar to the reportage of the nuns, but the results were even more impressive. When he finished this project, one of the monks died. Armando made some pictures of the last journey of this monk and these photos close a very special period.
The results of the reportages of silence and quiet reflection were exhibited during the Naarden Photo Festival 2001, in the Hasselblad Image Centre – Utrecht, the Epson Photo Festival 2005 and in FOAM: Museum of Photography, Amsterdam - The Netherlands. Also in several other galleries and museums, including Tallinn – Estonia (2005) and in 2009 a part of the reportage is exhibited in the first photography museum of Lishui – China.